Slowly, the circle of complete fitness training is starting to close. As we look back to the trends that our industry has embraced, we see an incomplete model:
- 1970s: We started running like Forest Gump, following the Cooper Clinic and Jim Fixx’s cardio boon. We also cut out all the fat from our diet and started popping diet pills.
- 1980s: Arnold Schwarzenegger was the new face of fitness, and body building came on strong. Workouts lasted 90 minutes to two hours. The Scarsdale Diet touted super-low-calorie plans.
- 1990s: Cirque Du Soleil, aka functional training, rolled in, and we cut our workouts in half down to an hour. The low-carb Atkins plan was the diet to follow.
- 2000s: HIIT exploded, and we began to believe we didn’t have to work out for 60 minutes to get the full benefit. Diets were built around celebrity endorsements and portion controls.
Which Brings Us to 2015
Life is crazy. Our lives are so jammed packed with self-induced "busyness" that we've lost control of any free time. We skimp on sleeping in search of more time to fit it all in. We've lost the art of preparing a simple home-cooked meal to rely on take-out and prepackaged so-called healthy alternatives.
Life is also complicated. Every day something new comes out to question the path we were following yesterday. People think eating healthy now takes a degree in neuroscience to understand how to choose a healthy lunch or navigate the grocery store. And our trips to the gym are still stuck trying to find 60 minutes to work out regularly in our crazy busy days.
The Next Wave—Hacking 2016 and Beyond
Studio operators of the future will embrace a completely holistic approach when it comes to holding clients accountable to living a fit and healthy life by incorporating the following:
- Sleep: Gone are the days of so-called fit and successful people thriving on four to six hours of sleep per night. The true hero has discovered a way to get the job done in a timely manner with regular work-to-rest intervals. We know that clients with fully rested bodies make better food choices, train harder and feel energized throughout their day. Sleeping seven to nine hours may not be cool, but a gym culture that embraces this philosophy will transform more lives, leading to more referrals and yearly profits.
- Food: We can’t believe the labels any more, nor can we trust the quality of our favorite restaurant's ingredients. It’s time we start coaching our clients in-house about how to prepare real food at home, make better choices on the road and how their behavior around food holds the key to lasting fat loss and true health. There is no better place to teach them this than in a kitchen environment inside your facility.
- Training: An undisciplined pursuit of more training time (60 minutes) is a bad training plan. It's time we realistically evaluate the lives that our clients live and create a training program that gives them their time back. The key step to attracting more clients is to value their time by giving them results in just 30 minutes. And yes, it's possible, if and only if, you have the sleep and food steps down solid. If not, we're only cheating our clients over the long-term by not truly addressing their real challenges.
Are there other things that you think studio operators of the future will embrace? If so, share what they are in the comment section below.